Thursday, May 9, 2013

Rain, Danes, Festivals, and Transfers

Dear friends and family,

So, recently, we have received a lot of rain. However, I think this is the usual here in Tennessee. It's been good though. I love the rain. Plus, it gets me ready for Denmark ;)

On Tuesday, we had a kind of unusual day. One of our investigators needed to go to the emergency room for her migraines. She doesn't have a car needed to arrange a ride for her and needed us to stick with her since none of her family could come. We got members to take us all there and bring us back to her house (since it is against the rules for us to drive other people). Anyway, we spent two hours in the ER. Pretty crazy, but she was grateful we could stay. She considers us as family, in fact, she asks us to call her our Tullahoma Momma.

We also met with Erik (the Dane) twice this week. He has decided he will give us Danish lessons as much as we can meet up until we get our visas. The first day, he gave us a lesson on the history and geography of Denmark. I loved it! Then, he asked how we work on pronunciation and if we have tapes or CDs or something that we listen to. We told him that we practice by reading the Book of Mormon in Danish out loud. I had purchased one copy of a Danish Book of Mormon before my mission that I had brought with me. I handed it to him so he could look at it. He asked if he could borrow it to become familiar with what material we are working with and I told him he could have it. He then told us that he would be delighted to read it!

The second time we met with Erik, he had read chapters 1-15 of 1st Nephi and said that he enjoyed reading it! He also had compared the chapters to the English edition that his friend, Tom, had. (We meet at Tom's house because Erik lives about 40 minutes away). Erik told us that the translation to Danish translates almost perfectly and that he was impressed with it. He had Sister Pearson and me listen to him read two verses and then had us read so he could help correct any pronunciation mistakes that he sees. It really helped a lot. He also told us that he thought we were doing well and that the Danes would be able to understand us when we read.

Okay, so the major part of the week was the Dogwood Festival. It was held in Winchester (a city about 30 minutes from Tullahoma). Winchester used to be in the Tullahoma ward, but last week a Winchester Branch was created. To help the Branch grow, the Church had a booth at the Dogwood Festival. We gave away free lemonade, CTR balloons, had tables full of free church pamphlets, DVDs, Book of Mormons, etc. and also asked people to fill out a four question survey to enter into a contest to win one of two Dogwood trees or very large framed picture of the Savior. Each person who marked a yes to any of the questions, they count as a referral and we will send missionaries over to their house to deliver a Book of Mormon and talk about the category that they wanted to learn more about (The Book of Mormon, families, the Savior or all of the above).

In the end, we have 249 referrals from the festival. Most of them are in our zone, but there were also some from other parts of Tennessee and other states. Pretty sweet!

Yesterday was the last day of the festival. The festival was supposed to close at 5pm, but around 3:30pm, we received word to close down the booths because a lightning storm was headed our way. We started packing up, but one of the leaders told us we were welcomed to stay, continue surveying and help booths that were still there pack up. We went to a western clothing/jewelry booth and all 8 of us missionaries helped them pack up there stuff and put it in the trailer. About 2/5 of the stuff was packed when it started raining, we continued working in the rain and hardly noticed the loud clinks of hail hitting everywhere around us until the storm was right over us. Oh my gosh, it was crazy! The hale increase in size, quantity and intensity of speed as is hit forcefully flew all around us. There were two people in the trailer and everyone else stayed underneath the canopy booth with the rest of the stuff outside. Someone suggested we get in the trailer. I rain through the attacking hail to the trailer. Right after I did, the wind started to move even more forcefully and one of the canopy tents completely flipped over, while the other remained standing thanks to the lady who owned the shop and the 6 missionaries in there. Then, the lady's husband and the other elder who were both in the trailer with me left to help hold it down. All of the sudden, I was alone. It was dangerous to go back out, so I just stood on the edge of the trailer watching them and starring at the sky. The sky looked so scary! Dark, dark greys and blues. To me, it looked like a tornado could come. I was so scared. I kept praying the whole time, I was scared we could die. It was a frightening experience. On the ground, everything looked white, as if it had snowed, but it was all hail. The first layer melted against the warm ground and then everything started to look like ice water from Sonic. It filled up fast and there were deep puddles all around us. Eventually, the cold storm calmed. Most of the merchandise was soaked, but all of us were okay and so were our vehicles, so that was good.

The moral of this story? You really never know what is going to happen in life, so be prepared! Life could end tomorrow! But if we are prepared, we shall not fear. And, the Lord is on our side! :)

I love you all so much!

Thank you for your support!

Søster Orgill

P.S. I am being transferred this week to Winchester with my companion, Sister Tenny! We are really going to try to get Winchester Branch (formed last week) to become a ward :)

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